BRANDEIS, LOUIS D.

TLS: “Knowledge of Palestinian conditions which we believe will be of great service to the Zionist cause”

Item #20371


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BRANDEIS, LOUIS D. - TLS: “Knowledge of Palestinian conditions which we believe will be of great service to the Zionist cause”
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BRANDEIS, LOUIS D. - TLS: “Knowledge of Palestinian conditions which we believe will be of great service to the Zionist cause”

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BRANDEIS, LOUIS D. (1856-1941). American Supreme Court justice and Zionist. TLS. (“Louis D. Brandeis”). 1p. 4to. New York, July 6, 1915. On letterhead of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs to Dr. Nawrarzki in Berlin.

 

“Your very kind letter of April 5th, enclosing copy of your letter to the Harvard Zionist Society, reached me sometime ago, and I have delayed answering your questions in order to confer with my associates before doing so. We are extremely obliged to you for the permission to publish your book in translation. At the present time it does not seem feasible to do so. But meanwhile we are gaining from it much knowledge of Palestinian conditions which we believe will be of great service to the Zionist cause…”

 

After graduating from Harvard Law School and starting his own practice in Boston, Brandeis earned a reputation as the “people’s” attorney, eventually becoming the first Jew to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. During his legal career he ruled against monopolies, in favor of workers’ rights, and for affordable life insurance. Outside the courtroom, along with Henrietta Szold and Rabbi Stephen Wise, he was an ardent supporter of Zionism.  

 

“Brandeis’s desire to help Eastern European Jewry find a safe haven in Palestine was heightened by his contact in 1910 with Russian immigrant garment workers, whom he met while mediating a strike. He saw in these Jews a democratic spirit and idealism he had not expected. In 1913, Brandeis agreed to chair a Zionist meeting in Boston. Not content to be a mere figurehead, by 1915 Brandeis became Zionism’s leading public spokesman in America… By 1917, the American Zionist movement increased its membership tenfold to 200,000 members. The American Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs, which Brandeis chaired, raised millions to relieve Jews who were suffering throughout war-torn Europe,” (“Louis D. Brandeis and American Zionism,” The Jewish Federation of North America, Feldberg).

 

Between 1904 and 1914, 35,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine, then under Ottoman rule during the Second Aliyah. These immigrants, primarily Russian, are credited with founding the kibbutz movement and reviving the Hebrew language. In the spring of 1915, however, the region was cut off from European and American aid sources, a hardship compounded by the appearance of swarms of locusts that devastated crops. The resulting scarcity and inflated food prices led many of these early immigrants to leave. Two years later the British government issued the Balfour Declaration promising a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

 

Heavily folded and creased with two file holes in the left margin. Age toned with scattered staining. In good condition and rare from this period.

 

Item #20371


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